A Guide to German Food: Sweets, Treats and Kuchen
I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of cakes, or biscuits, or in fact anything sweet and it seems that in Germany I am not alone. I do miss the likes of Victoria Sponge or a tasty scone but I have to say Germany makes up for these with the huge variety of different cakes, from Streuselkuchen to Torten, which leaves me spoilt for choice.
In other words, crumble cake. These cakes can be plain or come with a fruity filling, such as the one below.
Where there is no apple crumble there is Apfelkuchen, not quite the same, but delicious with a dollop of Schlagsahne (whipped cream).
Translates as ‘bee sting’ but don’t worry, it’s not as dangerous as it sounds. The cake earned its name from the honey topping, and according to legend, a bee was attracted to it and the poor baker was stung. The cake is filled with vanilla custard and usually topped with caramelized almond flakes.
The Germans are also partial to a slice of delicious Torte, a rich type of cake usually with many layers and plenty of cream. The come in many flavours, from chocolate, to fruity and are definitely a favourite of mine.
Not quite a cake, not quite a biscuit. The Lebkuchen is a difficult one to explain. I think the closest likeness it has to other biscuits is to Gingerbread, although Lebkuchen are generally softer. Even within the Lebkuchen category itself there are so many different varieties – from jam filled, chocolate coated or glazed. Another popular kind are those found at German fairs or Christmas markets. These are harder and typically inscribed with icing.
Germany knows how to do chocolate, be that the heavenly Milka bar or the more ‘grown up’ Ritter Sport. There is something for everyone. Personally, the chocolate aisle in the supermarket is one of my favourite and I can’t help myself from frequenting it, rather too often!
Did you know Haribo is german? Why yes, indeed it is and the company was founded not all that far away from Dusseldorf, in the lovely city of Bonn. Infact Haribo is actually an acronym for Hans Riegel, Bonn – Hans Riegel being the guy who invented the jelly/ gummi sweets we all know and love. You would be amazed how much of a supermarket aisle is full of Haribo packets and there are sorts here that I’ve not laid eyes on back in jolly ol’ Britain.
If you’re ever in the area surrounding Bonn, and you are a fan of Haribo then I would suggest you visit either the shop in town or the factory store in suburb Bad Godesberg or.. you could just read about my trip there here.
Waffles with warm cherries
Technically waffles are belgian, yes I know but in the bergisches Land it is traditional to serve waffles with warm cherries, and if you like, ice cream or whipped cream (in my case, both!). Deeeeeeee-licious!
I could go on and on but that sums up my favourite sweet treats over here. If you’re ever in Germany, give them a try.. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!